WHAT IS GUM DISEASE?
In the broadest sense, the term Gum disease, describes bacterial growth and the production of particles that gradually destroy the tissue surrounding and supporting the teeth.
The stages of Gum disease?
Gingivitis and periodontitis are the two main stages of gum disease.
Each stage is diagnosed by what a dentist sees and feels in your mouth, and by what's happening under your gum line. Although gingivitis usually precedes periodontitis, it's important to note that not all gingivitis will progress to periodontitis.
The first stage of Gum disease is known as Gingivitis. This is when the only the gums are affected and can be reversible.
People who do not have good oral hygiene and neglect to brush or floss their teeth, are often prone to gingivitis. If not treated properly, the gum infection will happen again and may cause serious gum disease or tooth loss.
The main cause of “inflammation of the gum’s”, is plaque on your teeth or gums. Cleaning your teeth by brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. However, plaque that is not removed can eventually harden and form “tartar”, which is a breeding ground for bacteria. Tartar sticks to your teeth, and can't be cleaned with ordinary brushing. Tartar can only be removed by a professional dentist or dental hygienist.
If not treated Gingivitis can progress to the next stage and lead to more serious destructive forms of gum disease called periodontitis or periodontal disease.
Therefore it is important to see your dentist regularly.
Periodontitis is the 2nd stage of gum disease. At this point, the inner layer of the gum and bone recedes from the teeth forming tiny pockets. These pockets between the teeth and gums can collect debris and may become infected. The body's immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Meanwhile bacterial toxins and the body's enzymes which are fighting the infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. As gum disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed.
Anyone at any age is susceptible to gum disease. You can lose your teeth from gum disease because it attacks not only the gums, but the bone as well. It is the bone that helps your teeth stay in place. When the disease has reached periodontitis, your teeth become loose and eventually fall out as the bone literally dissolves away from around your teeth.
The link between poor oral hygiene and poor overall health is well documented. The mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body, It here that diseases and infection can enter via your mouth. Oral bacteria found in patients with gum disease can enter into the blood stream. From here it can travel throughout the body. Inflammation sets in, but your body's immune response sometimes falls short and can cause serious problems such as:
How it starts.
Gum disease begins with plaque, which is always forming on your teeth, even without you knowing it. If the plaque is not removed on a daily basis, it will form tartar or calculus, which is a breeding ground for the germs that cause gum disease.
It is important to note that many other factors, such as the following also affect the health of your mouth and gums and contribute to gum disease;